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The Frettie Journal
A collection of interviews, updates, tips and resources for songwriters.

Education: 5 digital tools to help you capture your song ideas while on the go.

All, Tips & Resources by The Frettie Team on January 29, 2014


It's happens to all songwriters. You're going about your day and then all of the sudden a great song idea pops into your head. Great! But not so great if you don't have a way to capture that idea. And as we all know, if we don't write it down, we'll lose it.

To ensure that you never lose another great song idea, we at Frettie have gathered a small list of tools that we think you should check out. These tools have been chosen because they are free, simple to use and are adaptive enough to fit into your daily life pretty easily.

1.) Smartphones: If you don't have one already, we suggest investing in a Smartphone. Smartphones are small and powerful companions. They are always hooked to an "internet" source and gives you the power of a computer no matter where you are. Most of the tools below come with compatible mobile Apps for both the iPhone and Android phones. With a Smartphone, it's easy to capture your thoughts, keep your ideas in sync and stay inspired.

If you don't have a Smartphone, you could consider using your voice-mail as a method to capturing your thoughts by leaving yourself a message so you can listen to it later.

2.) Voice Memos: Voice Memos is a voice recording App that comes available free on all iPhones. It's a simple to use voice recorder that will allow you to capture song ideas, melodies, and is the perfect way to work on an idea on the go. Simply create a new note and then click the record button. Once done, you can save your memo or email it to yourself for later. The quality is not great, but it serves its purpose.

Voice Memos works very similar to a traditional hand held recorder. Both the App Store and the Google Play Store are full of voice recording Apps. Be sure to have a look around and find one that works best for you.

3:) Evernote: Evernote is a free online service that allows you to capture and collect notes, images, and recordings. Evernote is accessible through your computer and via a mobile App. With Evernote, you store everything in "Notebooks", and you can create as many "Notebooks" as you would like. You could have one "Notebook" for just song ideas, and even one for organizing your thoughts around a demo or EP. The great thing about Evernote is your notes are always synced between devices. No need to email yourself files anymore.

As a bonus, If you collaborate often with other songwriters, you can upgrade to the "Premium Plan" and unlock the ability to share entire notebooks with other songwriters.

4.) Dropbox: Another great solution for capturing your ideas is by using a cloud file service called Dropbox. Dropbox is a free service that integrates with your computer and mobile devices. It allows you to access your files from anywhere. Perhaps you have some song ideas captured on your desktop and want to listen to them on the go? All you have to do is simply drop them into your Dropbox folder and you will have access to them anywhere via their mobile App. This is also a great way to keep your song ideas backed up and accessible. You never know when you may need them.

Like Evernote, you can share folders with other Dropbox members so they can add files to your account as well.

Many of the voice recording Apps on the App Store and the Google Play Store also integrate with Dropbox. This makes it easy to record on the go and save those recordings for later access on Dropbox.

5.) Email: This may sound like a no brainer, but it needs to be on the list. Email is another great way to capture your thoughts while on the go. Email has a zero learning curve and requires very little effort to use. So when in doubt, simply email yourself your ideas from your smartphone, computer, a public computer or tablet.

These solution are just a small sampling of the tools that are available to capture your song ideas in a digital world. The important thing to keep in mind with any digital solution, is that they can come with a learning curve and sometimes too much technology can get in the way of your ideas. When in doubt just be sure to always carry a pen and a trusty old Moleskin notebook with you wherever you go. You never know when that idea will hit and you'll want to jot it down. And remember, once you're ready to get some feedback on that great new song idea, the Frettie community is a great place to start.

So there you have it. 5 simple tools to have on hand when an idea hits and you're on the go. What did we miss? What tools do you use to capture your thoughts while on the go? Share them below!


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